It is now official: the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska has asked the school’s Board of Regents to authorize an application for Nebraska to join the Big Ten. He expects the application to be accepted by the Big Ten, and I do, too. It seems unimaginable that Nebraska and the Big Ten schools haven’t worked out, in advance, that if the application is made it will be favorably received. It therefore seems very likely that the Big Te(leve)n will now become the Big Ten (+2). Other schools, Texas among them, will be meeting in the near future to consider their options, so other applications to join the conference may be forthcoming.
As any reader of this blog knows, I would prefer to keep the Big Ten as it is, with no conferences, no “championship game,” and a football season that ends with Ohio State playing Michigan in the rivalry to end all rivalries. Still, if the conference has to expand to be competitive in this modern world, Nebraska is a good choice. It may not have huge TV markets to bring to the table, but it is an excellent school with fine research, academic, and sports programs. Adding Nebraska stays true to the Big Ten’s Midwestern roots and Midwestern sensibilities. Nebraska’s football program has a record of accomplishment and traditions that is second to none. And everyone I have ever met who hailed from Nebraska — the state or the school — has been a nice person. (I haven’t met Senator Ben Nelson, so we won’t focus on his recent shenanigans.)
So Cornhusker fans, welcome to the Big Ten! We think you will like it in our conference, and we look forward to meeting you on the gridiron in the very near future, in a stadium filled with red and scarlet.